Winter: Flight or Fight?

Trumpeter Swans and Seagulls

Trumpeter Swans and Seagulls

This winter, a record number of trumpeter swans have descended upon the Saint Louis area’s Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Located along the Mississippi River, 900 of them were counted at the peak of this season. Trumpeter swans are all white, with black beaks, legs, and feet. These swans are named for their resonant, trumpet-like call. They’re the largest waterfowl in North America, weighing about 25 pounds and have a wingspan more than seven feet. At the start of the 20th century, they were thought to be nearly extinct. There were still some in Alaska, but in the lower 48 states, only 69 trumpeter swans were left, clustered in the Rockies. Along the Mississippi flyway, the swans had disappeared. Conservation efforts began in the 1980s and by 1991 five birds were spotted at the Riverlands. The next year a few more swans were seen. Last year there were 500 birds and now 900. That is one heck of a success story.

Kindergarten is like the ocean. You don’t want to turn your back on it.

This week has been a particularly cold and blustery one. Anne had no school on either Monday or Tuesday, because of the weather. Wednesday’s 4th grade left her flat on her back. I had to wake her for dinner and then there was Thursday’s kindergarten. She texted me at noon, “Help, I feel like Arnold.” referring to Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop stint. Several kids wet themselves and none of them listened to her. It is so cold here that I’m not surprised that these kids have gone crazy and by proxy Anne too. Bracketing quotes are from the movie and bear no resemblance to Anne’s teaching style. I think. 😉


My week was also tough. I spent all week running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I’m planning a trip. So, I’m getting stuff built, lots of stuff. I’m meeting more new people every day. It’s sort of exciting, but it is also pretty tiring. I’m averaging 10,000+ steps at work everyday. I try to get in earlier than normal, because all these new friends work the union’s schedule. This new work schedule causes even more sleep deprivation, but I am motivated. This arctic winter weather is a powerful motivator to get out-of-town. If I pull this off, I’ll work for two weeks in relatively balmy Seattle. Anne’s spring break tacks on nicely after this window. Jay and Carl are welcoming. If I can pull this trip off, I can tell that stupid groundhog to take a hike. I’m choosing flight over fight.

1 thought on “Winter: Flight or Fight?

Leave a Reply